Digitisation and intelligent mobility key for sustainable future on the roads

Karel Kucera, managing director at Continental Middle East
Karel Kucera, managing director at Continental Middle East

Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Wed 27 Oct 2021, 1:13 PM

A brand that aims to remain relevant to its customers during favourable market conditions, as well as challenging downturns, needs to be constantly evolving in line with customer needs, experts have said.

They should also ensure that they have a forward-thinking approach that allows them to be aware of key issues that will impact economies on a global scale, Karel Kucera, managing director at Continental Middle East, told Khaleej Times. Highlighting how the company has evolved to become much more than a tyre company, he pointed to the role that technology has played in helping to create solutions that will support a more sustainable future.

“For 150 years, Continental has been at the forefront of not only tyre development, but mobility solutions that make roads safer,” Kucera said. “Today, Continental is continuing that tradition by creating technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. We offer safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation.”

“We looked at the trends that the market was undergoing and understood that to move our business forward, we would need to adopt and prepare for a world dominated by technology, sustainable mobility, and digitisation,” he added.

For Continental, sustainability is anchored in the foundation of their values, he noted. “It guides our company and it will take us into the future. Continental is convinced that sustainable and responsible business increases our ability to innovate and meet the future. Our sustainability ambition, which is regularly reviewed by corporate management, defines our four focus areas and the goals that we have set ourselves.”

These include 100 per cent carbon neutrality along the entire value chain; 100 per cent emission-free mobility and industries; 100 per cent closed resource and product cycles; and 100 per cent responsible sourcing and business partnership.

Asked about the performance of the Middle East market, especially the UAE, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Kucera agreed that the Middle East markets had been “hit heavily” during the pandemic. “On the other hand, the vaccination process started very early in the region, which helped the economy recover very quickly. We saw that the UAE emerged as a leader in the vaccination drive, with the market picking up very quickly as a result.”

He added: “The UAE is a very dynamic and demanding market, and we have witnessed a big switch to more digitised services. I’m very happy that together with our partner, Emirates for Universal Tyres (EUT), we can continue to offer to our customers the best solutions for their needs.”

Looking ahead, Kucera said that it is going to be a very “exciting future” for the automotive industry with the shift towards electric and autonomous vehicles in smart cities. “Emission-free vehicles are the future of mobility, and their potential goes far beyond innovative drivetrain concepts. Mobility with sustainable carbon-neutrality is only possible with comprehensive connectivity and safety.”

Several, very fundamental, trends are also influencing the sector, he explained. Digitalisation, sustainability, efficiency, and cost saving are as much a part of the automotive sector, as safety on the roads, combined with comfort and convenience while driving.

“We are working on sustainable, customised mobility for everyone,” Kucera revealed. “One way to do this is with modular, energy-saving clean mobility solutions for all vehicle classes. These include working on connectivity of various vehicle systems, together with a mix of materials optimised for lightweight design, helping to reduce energy consumption in the long term – whether on country roads, the freeway, or in the megacities of the future.”


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